By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/7/2012
Roughly the same size as the Honda Accord and Hyundai Sonata, the 2013 Mazda6 wears an aging design whose styling has held up well over the years. With lines inspired by the now-defunct RX-8, the Mazda6 definitely isn't a ho-hum family sedan. Unfortunately, the Mazda6's powertrain and communication technology hasn't kept pace with the competition - just look inside a Blue Link-equipped Hyundai Sonata if you need proof. The more affordable models are powered by a tepid 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, while the upper-end S trim gets a proper dose of power from a 3.7-liter V6. Handling, always a Mazda strength, is good on this sedan, but EPA highway fuel economy of 30 mpg fails to impress.
If exterior styling is a key consideration when purchasing your next family sedan, the 2013 Mazda6 should definitely strike a chord. A firm suspension, tight steering and powerful V6 backup the car's sporty attitude.You May Not Like This Car If...
Those who care more about mobile connectivity and high-tech toys than driving pleasure won't find much to like here. Such drivers might be better off in a Ford Fusion, Kia Optima or Chevrolet Malibu.
There are no major changes for the 2013 Mazda6 sedan.Driving It Driving Impressions
In the 2013 Mazda6 sedan, you'll find a family 4-door that melds the best attributes of a luxury car with the spirit of a sport coupe to create a very un-family-like sedan. The 2.5-liter engine that's standard on i trims (Sport, Touring and Grand Touring) is responsive with one or two people on board, but becomes sluggish with a full complement of passengers. The 2.5-liter's performance cannot match that of the newer, more powerful 4-cylinder engines, such as in the Kia Optima. If you value performance, the best choice for the Mazda6 remains the 3.7-liter V6. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic with a manual mode and Mazda's well-tuned suspension, the V6 has the power to motivate the Mazda6 while still returning decent, but not best-in-class, fuel economy. This, in the final appraisal, is a mid-size sedan with sporting ambitions, although its size and engine/transmission lineup fall decidedly on the side of comfort over performance.
6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
Although available only on the i Sport trim, Mazda still offers a manual transmission in a mid-size, volume-targeted sedan, and it shall be celebrated. Happily, not only does Mazda still provide the ability to shift manually, but it equips its 6-speed manual with one of the very best linkages.
KEYLESS START AND GO
Not having to fumble with a key fob to gain access, or worry about finding the ignition slot at night, is the entire purpose behind this option. Simply keep the remote fob on your person and the Mazda6 allows you entry.
Mazda's Mazda6 sedan for 2013 shuns the cluttered, over-designed dashes of many newer cars in favor of a simple, more elegant look. The dash uses large rotary knobs for the ventilation controls and soothing red backlighting for the gauges and steering wheel controls. The quality of the materials and their applications is first rate, as are the exceptionally supportive front seats. There's a feeling of great space inside the Mazda6, although headroom for the rear-seat passengers is lacking. Unfortunately, the Mazda6 doesn't offer any form of telematics (think GM's OnStar) or infotainment system (think Ford's SYNC). The 2012 Mazda6 doesn't even offer an iPod interface.
The 2013 Mazda6's front fender design is clearly derived from the discontinued RX-8 sports car, which is in no way a bad thing. The sleek sedan profile and long swept-back C-pillars give it a coupe-like stance that is faintly reminiscent of the new class of 4-door luxury coupes, such as the Mercedes-Benz CLS. With the exception of the base model's 16-inch wheel covers, we think Mazda offers some of the most attractive wheels in the segment. The Mazda6's aggressively-raked windshield, sloping rear window and smooth side panels look good and contribute to reduced aerodynamic drag.
The 2013 Mazda6 i Sport has a smoothly-responsive 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and 6-speed manual transmission. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, an AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, Sirius Satellite Radio and Dynamic Stability Control with traction control.
Moving up from the i Sport to the i Touring trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, 215/55R17 tires, fog lights, 8-way power driver's seat, leather-trimmed steering wheel, in-dash 6-disc CD changer and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio features. Going from the "i" to the "s" trim level adds the 3.7-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission; the V6 is rated at 272 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. Options for the Grand Touring include navigation, keyless entry and start, HID headlamps, heated side mirrors with driver's-side auto-dimming function and rain-sensing wipers.
If the standard 2.5-liter, 16-valve 4-cylinder engine in the 2013 Mazda6 provides zoom, then it's left to the optional V6 to supply the zoom-zoom. Although not stellar, Mazda's base engine does a very respectable job of motivating the Mazda6, delivering 170 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon on the highway with the manual transmission. The 3.7-liter V6, available only with the automatic, adds just over 100 horsepower while being rated at 27 miles per gallon on the highway. If you value handling balance over outright acceleration, note that the 2013 Mazda6 V6 sedan outweighs the 4-cylinder version by 250 pounds, and most of that weight differential is over the front wheels, so the 4-cylinder version might be expected to be slightly more responsive to steering inputs.
170 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
167 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (manual); 21/30 mpg (automatic)
272 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg
The 2013 Mazda6 i Sport sedan (the "base" model) is well-equipped and has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $21,500. The mid-level i Touring with a 5-speed automatic is around $24,000, and a loaded s Grand Touring will be over $32,000. Thus, the 2013 Mazda6 is a value in the segment, although perhaps not as aggressively postured as the Hyundai Sonata. For an idea of what consumers are paying in your market area consult kbb.com's Fair Purchase Price. The Mazda6's projected resale value falls in the average range, far behind the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.